Truly scary haunted houses are a destination for both hardcore weirdos and everyday thrill-seekers alike. That’s why it should be exciting that the highly accessible Leesburg is host to one of the scariest in the nation, according to Travel + Leisure.
Each year, Paxton Manor–a 150-year-old, 43-room mansion–transforms into Shocktober, a themed haunted house attraction. Every year, except last year that is, when the attraction went virtual due to the pandemic.
This year, it’s celebrating its return with new rooms and characters, all centered around Shocktober’s unusually well-developed mythology of the Carvers, a fictional group of cannibals that, as the story goes, are hiding out in the mansion.
Their quirky narratives appear to be working: The attraction has pulled in more than $3.5 million since 2010. And while the house may or may not be evil (it’s rumored to be haunted for real), the cause behind it is for the good: Shocktober serves and is managed by the nonprofit Arc of Loudon, which serves those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The event will run from October 1 through October 30. Tickets are $40 per person. If you’re scared of getting scared, you can purchase a no-scare glow necklace for $5. 112 Church St. NE, Leesburg
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